Is it me or has Christmas come around very quickly this year. I cant believe that we are already in December and talking about Christmas parties and work celebrations. Christmas in Spain is fairly low key in comparison to the festivities that take place in the UK, the US and other countries within the EU. I did notice this year however, in the month of November the supermarkets started putting Christmas shelves together full of yummy things such as Turon. Well, I guess now is the time to get into the Christmas spirit.
It is quite refreshing that in Spain Christmas is not overly commercialised. The Spanish tend to look at Christmas as being a religious occasion, rather than an excuse to party and spend money.
This doesn’t mean that the Spanish don’t know how to celebrate Christmas though, once they get going, the Spanish totally immerse themselves into the spirit of Christmas with their families. Throughout Spain all of its streets are adorned and decorated with lights and nativity displays. These displays have very important religious meaning, and are called the Belén. In the UK we used to have these and they were referred to as either a Manger, or Crib. This is the religious element of Christmas and it sadly is seen in public and residential houses less and less as the years go on.
Christmas trees magically seem to appear for sale everywhere and poinsettias, the red-leaved plant associated with Christmas, are planted everywhere and I have seen whole roundabouts planted with them with at least 100+ in one site.
As well as the traditional trees in the home there will also be small versions of the Belénes, or nativity scenes. These will always include the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Three Kings. I have one in my house and it really does bring something back home to remind us as to why we are actually celebrating this holy day.
So as the days draw closer, I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas in Spain this year and are a little more prepared than me.
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